Greek deficit 10.5% of GDP. That funny Orwell feeling...
Emails from the Greek finance ministry always drop with a title that says "?????????" since the BBC's email system cannot cope with the Cyrillic alphabet. However today's missive from the Greek finmin is worthy of those question marks plus a famous 3-letter acronym that does not stand for World Taekwando Federation.
Here's the graph issued by Mr Papaconstantinou's office:
It shows that even though the Greek deficit is higher than expected, it has still done better than anybody else in Europe in deficit reduction in a single year. Unfortunately there is no Bafta for this achievement, nor any form of credit in the international sovereign debt market.
Ireland, bailed out for its role as a large, English-speaking quasi-Grand Cayman in the Euro banking system, may have done worst, but it is still the most likely country to achieve leniency. Greece, which on its own figures has made good progress, is now being openly discussed as a candidate for a swift boot up the rear-end out of the zone altogether.
German economic adviser Lars Feld told Italian TV today that Greece should restructure (ie a controlled default): adding of course that Germany could not support such a default.
As we watch the inevitable happen, in slow motion, always preceded by disavowals and denials from those in power, it always calls to mind a paragraph from Orwell's diary on the morrow of the German invasion of the USSR:
"Remarked to X that, for the past few years, have had the feeling of waking up knowing more about what is about to happen in the world than any member of the Cabinet. Less to do with powers of prediction, but with the power to grasp what kind of world we are living in."